(Family Features) ’Tis the season to pop up some holiday fun by creating a scenic winter wonderland that tastes as great as it looks.
Gather the kids and make a hands-on family holiday tradition out of crafting festive, edible decorations. Popcorn is the perfect choice to pop up and eat while trimming your popcorn tree and decking out your creations. At 30 calories a cup, whole-grain, freshly popped popcorn offers a nutritious alternative to traditional holiday party nibbles. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar-free.
These clever recipes can help you make edible decor or gifts to give to friends, family and co-workers. Find more creative holiday recipes at popcorn.org.
Festive Popcorn Trees
Yield: 10 trees
- 10 cups air-popped popcorn
- 1 bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- nonstick cooking spray
- green decorating sugar
- blue decorating sugar
- 1 tube white frosting with decorating tip
- small, colorful candies (such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees)
- Place popcorn in large bowl.
- Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
- Line baking sheet with foil.
- Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop up about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
- Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
- Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
- Make nine additional trees.
- Pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.
Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.
Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.
Holiday Popcorn Snowman
Yield: 5 snowmen
- 1 package (1 pound) large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- sprinkles (optional)
- licorice (optional)
- gum drops (optional)
- cinnamon candies (optional)
- In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Let stand 5 minutes.
- Pour over popcorn and stir mixture.
- Butter hands well and form into balls.
- Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, as desired.
Holiday Wreath Popcorn Treats
Yield: 8 wreaths
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 quarts popped popcorn
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons lime gelatin dessert mix
- small red candies
- red fruit leather
- Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
- In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert mix until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix until coated.
- Spray hands with cooking spray and press firmly to form into 9-inch logs then bend to form wreaths.
- Place wreaths on wax paper. Press candies and jellybeans into wreaths as decorations; cut fruit leather to make ribbon and add.
- Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage. Add ribbon tie to plastic wrap as decorative closure.
Tip: Soak saucepan before cleaning.
Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer
Yield: 8 reindeer
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter or light olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 pretzel sticks
- 16 eyeball candies
- 8 red candy-coated chocolate candies
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan set over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.
- Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls total. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.
- Insert pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for eyes and red candy for nose. Let cool completely.
Tip: Eyeball candies can typically be found in baking aisles of supermarkets or bulk food stores.
The Popcorn Board